Chapter 10 - Interrupted
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After all this time of tortured wondering, never knowing and trying to make sense of faded memories, Jadeite was finally going to hear the story of their past. As Nephrite began to tell the story, he cast one more glance at the door, making sure Naru was still sleeping. Gesturing for Jadeite to follow him, he walked down from the balcony stairs and began to walk out back towards the pathway of what were once his impressive gardens which were now desolate and unkempt.
"Long ago, we too were born on Earth. Humans, we were born to regular families, we had no royal blood and yet like all boys we had enrolled in an academy where we endured both academic and athletic training. We first met at the palace; we had both been selected amongst the thousands in the academy as the most promising, the most skilled. At a young age, we had been chosen to be the guardians and companions of the young Prince Mamarou. Along with Zoisite and Kunzite, we were very fortunate; we got to grow up in the palace, train with the elite and were respected with the honoured title of lords. We were giving special rights, privileges, training, armour and treatment. With us defending the kingdom, there was almost no need for an army. As the sole guardians of the Prince, we were as good as royalty.
When the Princess of the Moon became engaged to our prince, it was expected that the Shitennou would marry the princesses of Mars, Mercury, Jupiter and Venus in order to further strengthen the alliance between the Moon and Earth kingdom."
Here, Nephrite paused for a moment, thinking, but then continued.
"We were these great lords, but we were still just young men. None of us felt we were ready for marriage. The Sailor Senshi were beautiful, yes, but were we to marry them for that alone? Yet under the King's watch, we danced with them at the balls and flattered them, put on appearances. Before it was settled however, there was talk of war from a dark source, no one quite knew yet, but we would later find out it was Beryl lead by Metallica.
At the time of war, the kingdoms of the Earth and Moon thought it at good idea to reinforce the power and strength of the Shitennou. It made sense that as the key defenders of the kingdom, the greatest combat asset should have a means of indemnity. It was then that they created these, the crystals we always wear across our chests."
At this, Nephrite reached into his own shirt and held out the chain with the shinning crystal. He had usually kept it hidden under his clothes to avoid inquiries about it but now held it up and looked from it to the matching jewelled music box. Jadeite said nothing, but continued to listened intently as if he was trying to focus on soaking up all the information he had been yearning for, for so long.
"It was moon magic, the Queen told us. It was dangerous, but had to be done to protect the kingdom. For this reason, they could not let the Prince try it, just in case. In some way, almost all our energy was extorted, forming these crystals, which would enhance our power beyond imagination, allowing us to do things we had never been able to do before. It nearly killed us, I remember the unbearable pain, but it worked. We were more powerful than ever and become almost superhuman. At the same time, almost as a gift to the Senshi, Queen Serenity also created an enchantment spell with these music boxes. In case death should separate us, we would be able to return once a year. Love, she said, was the most powerful energy."
Jadeite remembered reading the engraving in the music box and it made sense now. True hearts will meet; love never dies, with the power of all stars and skies. Music played only for true love's spirit, till the other wakes to hear it.
"But wait, if we were given this much power, how is it that we lost the war and were taken by Beryl?" This part did not make sense to him.
"We didn't," answered Nephrite dryly. "Beryl knew she wouldn't win as long as they had us defending them. When she first started contacting us, we all vowed to each other we would not succumb to her offers of power and wealth, so she decided upon a different motive."
Here, they both paused as they had reached the end of the path which widened to encircle a tall elaborate fountain, almost even more elaborate as the mansion itself, where the water ran, splashing from a ornate basin held by the a statue of a young woman. Though, like the rest of the garden, it was dirty and unkempt, the illuminating moonlight shimmering through the reflective water made it a most beautiful sight. Again, Nephrite seemed distracted and looked towards the mansion, though they had gone too far to see through the balcony doors but continued on:
"We hadn't known about Kunzite and Zoisite. Though we might have suspected their attachment had grown stronger than friendship, it was not our place to interfere; the relationship would have caused a scandal in the kingdom and a strain on the alliance with the Moon Kingdom. That was how she got to them. She promised them, they could remain together."
At this Nephrite's face twisted wryly into a half-grin. "Though I had my differences with them, I must admit, their reason for betrayal outclasses mine."
"Which was?" Jadeite asked.
"Arrogance, my incessant pride." His grin disappeared and pulling his eyes from the statue, he started to walk slowly back up the path. Jadeite immediately followed. "After Zoisite and Kunzite had left, they tested my pride. How could I let them force me to marry whom I did not choose? Was I merely a puppet, without a choice? This time, it worked. Young and proud, I had decided that I would do as I please."
Nephrite now almost smiled as he told Jadeite what he clearly wanted most to know.
"You were always the loyal one, you know. You did not even so much mind that you were going to marry the Princess of Mars, you admired her. However, after we had all joined Beryl, it was easy to pressure you and convince you that your loyalty lay with us, as brothers, and not the king.
With their strongest defence lost, the Moon and Earth Kingdoms were helpless. Nevertheless, with the same power the queen had used to make us powerful, it was then she created the most powerful Imperial Silver Crystal where she was able to save them though they had already died, right before the kingdom was destroyed. Doing so killed her, but allowed the princesses and prince to be revived.
Later, we were horrified with what we had done, yet Beryl convinced us that that was what we were and our hearts hardened. As the years went by, the evil corrupted us and we almost completely forgot of our past altogether. And yet, after all this time…"
Once more he turned the music box in his hands and stared at it, wondering how it could have happened while Jadeite remained silent, too stunned and besieged with the information he was having difficulty processing.
Suddenly, their thoughts were both interrupted. Now, as they at the bottom of the balcony stairs, there, standing in the dress she had so carefully chosen for this moment, with her hair and ribbon lightly blowing in the night breeze, was Naru. Her mouth gasped almost in disbelief as she saw him at the same moment.
"Nephrite-sama! It really is you!" Her face broke into a blissful smile and tears filled her eyes. She took no time in running down the stairs to him, nearly tripping over the skirt of her dress, and sauntered into his surprised arms. He was so taken aback and was speechless and did not know what to say, but stroked her hair gently as she held him tightly and buried her fast into his chest where she cried and cried for what she had been waiting for, for so long.
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return to Index / go to Chapter 11
The Nephrite and Naru Treasury